A Satisfying Project

A few years ago I got the idea I’d like to write a book. As a matter of fact, I wanted to make it a series of books based on the life of a couple, traveling with their two dogs. As I wrote the first book I added a cat. Well, I discovered that such a project is harder to accomplish than I ever thought it would be.

I published that first book last summer. I made the mistake of self editing the thing, so there are quite a few mistakes in it. Nonetheless, the project was one I thoroughly enjoyed.

I am now about 2/3 of the way finished with writing the second book in the series. It has taken me longer than I thought it would, because life seems to get in the way from time to time. There’s always something to see, someplace to go, music to listen to, books to read, people to meet, trails to hike, you name it, it’s gotten in the way.

What I’d like to do is share part of the beginning of this book with you. In doing so, I hope it encourages you to begin your own project. Each of us has a story to tell. It could be about yourself, someone you know, or just an idea that is germinating in the back of your mind. You may never get to the point of publishing what you write, but the act of putting your ideas down where you, and others, can read them could give you immense satisfaction, and, if it is autobiographical, it might let your family understand you just a little bit better. It could be a way to pass along familial history, too.

So, without further adieu I give you Escape From Terlingua:


It was a day straight from hell. Something I had never encountered in my life, and I hope to never come across anything like that again. Sweet P has told me tales of similar things. Over there, in a land where people die before they ever get a chance to live. But, this is all new to me. It was terrible. I’m old enough to have been around the block a time or two, but I’m here to tell you that something like what happened that day is something you never want to witness, and you sure don’t want to be a party to. Oh, Sweet P, what shall we do?

My name is Matilda Francis. My best friend is Penny Anderson. I call her Sweet P, because she is the sweetest woman you ever want to meet. She calls me Missy. We’ve been together for a very long time, and I hope we are together for many years to come. But, something like what happened that day makes me realize that it can all come to an end rather suddenly.

The day started out like any other. The sky was a beautiful cobalt blue. Not a cloud up there to break up the blueness of it all. But, it’s like that a lot in West Texas. You see, we moved here a couple of years ago from a place where the sky is kind of a washed out color of gray, and there’s always lots of clouds up there. Rains quite a bit, too. Not like here, where it’s so hot and dry most of the time that nothing much ever grows, except the vast emptiness of it all. Maybe it’s been longer than a couple of years. No, I don’t think so. I’m getting up there in years and my mind plays tricks on me now and then, but I’m pretty clear on this. I think. Sometimes I remember things that never happened, and when I do that I get a little confused. But, I’m pretty sure it’s only been a couple of years since we moved out here to this ghost town of Terlingua.

Sweet P and I would never have made the move if it weren’t for Lonesome Jack. My Sweet P would follow that man anywhere. I’m pretty sure of that. And I’d follow Sweet P, real close, too. Don’t want her getting lost….

But, that day in Terlingua—oh, that day. Sweet P was not happy that day. She was real scared. When those men showed up, and the fighting began, Shadow jumped in the middle of it all, and I thought for sure we’d be seeing something we didn’t want to see. I was right, too. Don’t tell anyone, but when the shooting began I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. I think Shadow was, too, but he won’t admit it.

I should probably tell you about that big, ugly friend of mine. I might not get another chance. Sweet P and I call him Shadow, but Lonesome Jack always calls him Big Dog. He’s done that since day one. Says he’s too big to be called anything different….

A few days later Shadow and Old Tom went at it again. Shadow got the worse end of that little skirmish, too. He stays away from that old alley cat now. But, I get the feeling that one day all hell will break loose again. They’ve come to peace with one another for the time being. I think Shadow’s just waiting for old age to catch up to that cat and then he’ll take him down. The only problem is that Old Tom is already old. He’s got to be at least a hundred or more. The way he’s going he’ll outlive us all. He’s just too mean to die.

I guess we’re just a collection point for misfits around here. But, I’m kind of getting off track, aren’t I? I wanted to tell you about what happened that dreadful day in our front yard. Like I told you earlier, it was a day straight from hell. Our little family took a beating that day. Maybe I should start from the beginning. Not the beginning beginning, but the beginning of … well, never mind. You might not believe this, but it happened just this way….


I hope the few paragraphs above have given you the idea that you, too, can do what I have done. If you’re like me, you will not get rich putting pen to paper. You probably will not even make enough to cover a night on the town, but it will give you immense pleasure to be able to share your ideas with others.

It is quite easy to publish books now. Amazon, among others, allows you to self publish what you have written. I have read some very fine works on my Kindle, and I have read some real stinkers. By publishing your project digitally it allows others (family, friends, and total strangers) to easily, and inexpensively, read your book or short story. If you share your works through Kindle Unlimited then members can read what you have written free of charge. You make a few pennies each time someone accesses your publishings through the site, but don’t expect to get rich. Just know that you might bring pleasure to someone along the way.

If you’d like to read more about Big Dog and Blondie, download a copy of Dead Man’s Bounty. Don’t expect something free of grammatical errors, but I hope you enjoy the story.

My first book, Passing Thoughts of a Wandering Fool, is a collection of ideas. A few years ago I wrote a blog about living and traveling in an RV. This short book is a collection of a few of those blog entries, as well as some scattered ideas that have floated through my mind from time to time. In short, this publication is some scattered thoughts from a demented mind that has developed from years of over-use. Well, most likely under-use, as many of my friends and family would say. As a matter of fact, a few of those friends of mine, and some of my family members, think I should be locked up for some of the thoughts, or non-thoughts, I have. Hopefully, you don’t agree.